Sustainable Food Guide
|Environmental Practice at Work © 2008|
|Pesticide Information... |
The UK government has no plans to introduce targets to reduce pesticide use 'across the board' (National Pesticide Strategy), although the forthcoming EU Directive "Sustainable Use of Pesticides may require this. Pesticides in food are monitored by Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), which are "not safety levels but are indicators of good farming practice" - to allow free movement of trade.
Other aspects of pesticide use (other than disposal) are controlled by Control of Pesticide Regulations (COPR) through the Pesticide Safety Directorate. The Advisory Committee on Pesticides advises the government on pesticide matters. The ACP determines approvals on the basis of only direct impacts of pesticides, whereas GM approval also includes indirect effects. See explanation of how ACP assesses the risks of pesticides. There is a Voluntary Inititiative developing improved pesticide control.
Role of Residents
The Royal Commission Environmental Pollution Report (Sept 2005) investigated farm spraying and risks to residents and suggested there should be a "buffer zone" between spraying and residential properties. The Advisory Committee on Pestcides response (pdf) includes a mention of our Charlie who considered that the way forward was to make the Green Code (new edition published Feb 2006) compulsory. UK Government response ignores Royal Commission's Report (July 2006). In 2008, Georgina Downs won her case against UK government arguing that residents need better protection (full judgement). DEFRA appealed in 2009 and won.
|Photos courtesy of http://www.usda.gov|